Gaza has been under military blockade since 2006. Its one harbor, in Gaza City, was heavily bombed by Israel recently. Repeated attempts to reach Gaza with boats carrying humanitarian supplies have been thwarted by Israel with U.S. backing and we’ve seen activists beaten and even killed for trying to deliver cargo like medical supplies.
Bringing this question closer to home, How is the genocide in Gaza supported by General Dynamics and Bath Iron Works?
General Dynamics is the world’s fourth largest weapons manufacturer and Bath Iron Works (BIW) is one of its many locations for building weapon delivery systems. In this location in Maine shipbuilders historically profited from building slave ships.
Today, both destroyers and cruisers are built to be nuclear-capable meaning they are designed to be able to deliver first-strike attack nuclear Tomahawk cruise missiles and SM-3 ‘missile defense’ interceptors which would take out an enemy’s defenses following a first strike by the U.S.
Currently there are multiple Bath-built warships in the vicinity of Gaza including the eastern Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, and the Gulf of Aden. The USS Kearny, an Aegis destroyer built at BIW, is deployed there as is the USS Mason, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer which on 27 November engaged in a firefight with Yemeni forces on behalf of an Israeli merchant ship it was sent to rescue. U.S. ships have been reported as routinely shooting down drones launched from Yemen that target ships in the vicinity.
Map dated May, 2020 Source: https://iranpress.com/infographic-military-assets-in-eastern-mediterranean
On 15 November Aljazeera published a video report, “What does the Western naval build-up in the Middle East look like?” with this comment: “The Middle East is witnessing a Western naval build-up that hasn’t been seen there for decades: aircraft carriers, destroyers, missile cruisers, amphibious assault ships, a nuclear-powered submarine, and many more.”
U.S. warships are deployed to deter resistance forces in the region — such as Hezbollah — from intervening to stop genocide in Gaza and the West Bank. So far they’ve been apparently unsuccessful, however, their presence increases the likelihood of escalation as in the case of the USS Mason fighting Yemen on behalf of Israel.
Since the resumption of Israel’s bombing of Gaza on December 1, these confrontations have indeed escalated.
Treating U.S. warships as inherently different from Israeli warships is mythology. The two nation states have never been in closer lock step as they do the bidding of their corporate overlords.
Israel has been described as “America’s unsinkable aircraft carrier” but the U.S. and Israel have never been so reviled in world opinion as they are today. Their collective reputation is sinking like a warship that’s taking on water.
Join us in Bath this Friday if you’re able. Help us communicate to workers that we know Bath Iron Works only has one customer — the U.S. Navy — but it wasn’t always like that. So many useful things could be built there and even more good union jobs generated, like hospital ships to provide relief for the bombed out children of Gaza.
Injured Palestinian kid receives medical treatment at Al-Nasr Children’s Hospital after an Israeli attack in Khan Yunis, Gaza on November 18, 2023. Abed Zagout/Anadolu via Getty Images
If you have the courage, watch or read: “A harrowing video shows decomposing babies in a Gaza hospital after they had to be abandoned amid Israeli attacks.”
Then, wherever you’re located, get out in the streets to demand an end to genocide in Gaza and to the military blockade that supports it.